Tenth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest draws nearly 1,000 submissions

Ryan Morris

The 10th Appalachian Mountain Photography Contest, put on by Outdoor Programs, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, is underway.

Participating photographers were encouraged to capture a variety of images related to the Southern Appalachian region.

This year, there are four primary categories for which the winner will receive $250 cash: landscape, adventure, culture and flora/fauna.  The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Appalachian Voices offer additional separate awards.

“The contest is designed to give people and outlet to contribute to or highlight the southern Appalachian region,” said Rich Campbell, Associate Director of Outdoor Programs at Appalachian State.

Photographers also compete for the $1,000 “Best in Show” award and the $350 “People’s Choice.”

Photo submissions for this year’s contest were due online Friday, Nov. 16.

“We had close to 1,000 come in,” said Campbell.

The next step for the selection committee is to evaluate the submissions and choose between 45 and 50 to display within the Turchin Center.  

Jurors will contact the photographers whose photos were selected to be shown in the March exhibit by Dec. 7.  The exhibit will be open to the public from March 1 until August 16, but from March 1 until May 17 visitors to the exhibit will have the opportunity to vote for the photograph they think deserves the “People’s Choice” award.

On May 18 a public reception is scheduled, in which the winners of all categories, including “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice,” will be announced and awarded.

This year the jurors are ASU assistant professor of technical photography Chip Willams, professional wedding and event photographer Jamey Fletcher and university photographer in the communications department Marie Freeman.

According to a release on the Turchin Center website, Williams has worked with wildlife monitoring and naturalist education in the Lake County Forest Preserve District for several years.

“Anyone with a photography and nature background makes for a good juror in our mind,” said Campbell.

Supporters and sponsors of the contest include Virtual Blue Ridge, Bistro Roca, Peabody’s Wine & Beer, Footsloggers, Stick Boy Bread Co and Appalachian Voices.

“The proceeds from the contest go to enable our longer trips and expeditions to be a lower price,” said Campbell.

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, Senior A&E Reporter